At CES, it’s become clear that not only are laptops alive and well, but the desktop is back with a vengeance.
In particular, the all-in-one is seeing a kind of creative renaissance wherein once-boring hardware makers like Dell and HP are now putting out some of the most interesting and desirable desk computers to date.
By combining high-quality monitors with advances in engineering and design, these machines are proving the value and potential of the category, refuting the idea that mobility is paramount.
These devices serve both broad and niche purposes, for general consumers, gamers, and artists alike.
And thanks to the rise of virtual reality and the surge in 4K video, there’s now a stronger appetite for high-end components and extravagant displays.
These computers may not be bestsellers, but they are nonetheless pushing the market forward and introducing ideas that may become unquestionable staples when costs come down.
They also act as an exception to the idea that the modern PC is nothing but an appliance or “furniture,” as The Verge’s own Walt Mossberg argued back in October.
It’s necessary to note the role of Apple’s iMac in this conversation. That desktop was once the standard bearer of the all-in-one, mixing elegant design with enough power and hip aesthetic to become the coveted signature product of graphic designers, video editors, and other creatives.
The iMac remains top-of-class, but it now has to contend with an ever-expanding, more aggressively updated group of Windows all-in-one PCs.
The Surface Studio put the PC on the map for creatives